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Researcher Development

Researcher Development

Software for writing your thesis

There are a number of software options for writing your thesis. We have included here some information, links, training and PGR case studies on some of the more common examples.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is perhaps the most common word processing tool used for thesis writing. One of our researchers as part of the Researcher-Led Initiative awards developed some guidance and online resources on Writing your thesis in Microsoft Word which may be useful.


Scrivener is the go-to app for writers of all kinds, used every day by best-selling novelists, screenwriters, non-fiction writers, students, academics, lawyers, journalists, translators and more. In this video, Edward Mills, PGR in Modern Languages, talks about using Scrivener for writing his thesis. You can find out more and download a free trial on the Scrivener/Literature and Latte website.

You can download a transcript of this video.


LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of technical and scientific documentation. Here are some useful resources on PGRs who have used LaTeX for writing up their thesis:

The University of Exeter Lib guides gives excellent summaries of the main reference managers used by most PhD students, but the important thing is you find one and stick to it, as trying to move or add all your papers over halfway through is not ideal. These resources might also be useful:


In this video, Dr. Catherine Talbot, PGR graduate and Cyberpsychologist, talks about using the Forest app to help her stay focused whilst writing:

You can download a transcript of this video.

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